Fixing theme error Child Theme Does Not Exist in WordPress Print

  • Updated on 13-May-2024
  • Child Theme Does Not Exist, theme error, Resolve child theme issues in WordPress, WordPress child theme not found, Manage WordPress theme directories, fix wordpress theme error
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How to Fix the "Error: The theme directory 'child-theme' does not exist" in WordPress


Running into the "Error: The theme directory 'child-theme' does not exist" on your WordPress site can be quite a hiccup. This error pops up when WordPress can't seem to find your specified child theme directory. Not to worry, though! We'll walk you through the steps to get this sorted out and keep your site looking sharp.

Understanding the Error:

This frustrating message typically shows up for a few reasons:

1. Incorrect Child Theme Directory Name: The name in your WordPress settings doesn't match the actual directory name in your installation.
2. Missing Child Theme Directory: Perhaps the directory was deleted, misplaced, or not properly uploaded.
3. Incorrect File Permissions: Sometimes, the directory permissions aren't set right, blocking WordPress from accessing the child theme.

How to Fix It:

Step 1: Check the Child Theme Directory Name

- Where to Look: Head over to `/wp-content/themes/` through FTP or your hosting control panel’s File Manager.
- What to Do: Make sure the directory for your child theme is there and that its name matches what's in your WordPress settings, paying attention to case sensitivity.

Step 2: Verify the Child Theme's Existence

- Is it There?: If the directory is missing, you'll need to restore it from a backup or re-upload it.
- How to Re-upload: Use FTP or your hosting panel to move the child theme folder back to `/wp-content/themes/`.

Step 3: Adjust File Permissions

- Set the Right Permissions: Directories should be at 755 and files at 644.
- How to Change Permissions: You can adjust these via FTP or through the File Manager by right-clicking the child theme directory and choosing 'Change Permissions'.

Step 4: Review WordPress Configuration

- wp-config.php File: Ensure there aren’t any custom settings in `wp-config.php` directing WordPress to a different theme directory.
- Database Settings: Log into phpMyAdmin, navigate to the `wp_options` table, and verify that the 'template' and 'stylesheet' rows point to the correct theme directory.

Step 5: Clear All Caches

- Browser & Plugin Cache: Clear out any caches from caching plugins and your browser to reflect your changes.
- Server Cache: If your host uses caching, make sure to clear that as well to prevent old data from being served.

Wrapping Up:

Getting past the "Error: The theme directory 'child-theme' does not exist" is crucial for your site's functionality and aesthetics. By ensuring the correct directory name, confirming the directory's presence, setting appropriate permissions, double-checking WordPress configurations, and clearing caches, you can get your site back on track.

Info! Regularly backing up your site can save you a lot of trouble in situations like this. Always have a recent backup at hand!

If you encounter any issues, please open a support ticket here or start a LiveChat session using the icon located at the bottom right of the screen.

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